A campaign is being launched today, at the start of National Volunteer Week, to encourage people to show their appreciation for the work of local charities across Aldershot and Farnborough, which provide essential support and help shape society for the better.
In these unprecedented times, when people are applauding the NHS and other essential workers for their efforts, the campaign aims to highlight the many local charitable organisations which are fighting for survival at a time when they may soon be needed the most.
With fund-raising events cancelled and meetings suspended, many small, local groups, some of which support young people such as Brownies and Scouts, and some supporting elderly and disabled people, are struggling to survive, or to retain the experienced volunteers they need to ensure the service remains available after the lockdown has been lifted.
As a result, a campaign, called Love your Local Heroes, is being launched by Rushmoor Voluntary Services, supported by Rushmoor Borough Council, to ask everyone to show their love for local organisations. This could be through continuing subscriptions to groups or by donating money saved from petrol costs, take-away coffees or lunches directly to local community groups.
Rushmoor Voluntary Services champions volunteering and supports hundreds of voluntary or community groups working in the borough, as well as managing projects such as home-help, community transport and dial-a-ride.
Donna Bone, RVS Chief Executive, said: “Volunteers were doing lots of great work before the Coronavirus lockdown, and we want these groups and volunteers to still be there afterwards.
“Our supporters would normally be fund-raising, running events and holding meetings and all these small subscriptions and donations add up, to enable them to continue operating. Now, they cannot happen, and many are experiencing a steep drop in income, and may have to close.
“We know that people have to be careful with their money, especially if they are not able to work, but we hope that people value our local groups, and we would be so grateful if any money saved from seven weeks of saved petrol costs or lunches could be donated to a voluntary group of their choice to help them continue their vital work.
“Your support has never been needed more, and we ask everyone to donate to a charity close to their heart, and help our local heroes continue carrying out their vital support in the community.”